New IBM mainframe for medium-sized businesses
IBM has introduced the z10 Business Class, its entry-level mainframe for medium-sized businesses at the Systems trade show. The z10 BC is about 40 per cent faster and has up to 50 per cent more memory than its predecessor, the z9 BC. The Z10 BC is a cut-down version of last spring's z10 EC, based on a similar z6 processor with hardware acceleration for cryptography – although the Business Class model only runs at 3.5 GHz, compared to the EC models' 4.4GHz. Standard systems are shipped with 4 GB of main memory, which can be extended to up to 256 GB.
The z10 series mainframes are an element of IBM's merger of its different server lines, along with the new POWER 6 servers. The z6 CPU is a variant of IBM's POWER RISC processor – a totally different design from the z9 series mainframes' 1.7GHz dual-core CISC CPUs. Binary software compatibility is provided by microcode. The BC range has slower, tri-core processors, with one faulty core electrically isolated, but four-chip (12-core) processor "books" can be replaced with the faster 16-core books to upgrade the machine to an EC model.
Unlike the z10 EC, this air-cooled system fits into a single rack. It can be equipped with up to 10 processors. Installed z9 BC mainframes can be converted into z10 BCs using hardware extensions. In a configuration with four I/O drawers, the mainframe has a power consumption of 6200 watts. IBM is particularly looking towards the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerging_Market "emerging markets", for example in Eastern Europe. The z10 BC will be available from October 28. List prices start at $100,000 – around one-tenth of the entry-level EC machine.